Clark County Press, Neillsville, WI

March 12, 2003, Page 22

Transcribed by Dolores (Mohr) Kenyon.

Index of "Oldies" Articles 




Compiled by Dee Zimmerman




Clark County News

 March 1878


During the past week, the sidewalk on Main Street has been extended from Furlong’s to John Thayer’s by interested property-holders.  The sidewalk now makes a continuous stretch of one mile. It will be the walk to take during the coming promenading season.   Other localities in our village should follow the example made by residents of the northern part of Main Street. Good sidewalks are blessings without disguise.


We are in receipt of the following communication from Mr. Doolittle, principal of the high school, which is well worthy of the consideration of the people of this town:


The State of Wisconsin offers, in Chapter 323 of the General Laws of 1875, to pay half of the cost of maintaining a free high school in any town of the state, provided that certain easy conditions are complied with.  If this subject is laid before the town residents at the annual town meeting and a majority of the voters shall prove to be in favor of organizing a high school under the Free High School Law, then every pupil in the Town of Pine Valley who is sufficiently advanced in learning can attend the high school without paying tuition.  Instead of one district having to raise; over a $1,000 dollars to support that school as it now does, the whole town would only have to raise about $500.


We all need a rest on greenbacks and the silver bill and if our citizens will just turn their attention to this subject for a few days, while they are “waiting for snow,” or the “coming” railroad, it may be the means of diminishing each man’s school tax thirty or forty per cent.  Let our wise men consider this matter carefully and give all of us the benefit of their deliberations.


The bridge over Black River, in the Town of Levis, which has been considered unsafe for some time, proves to have been a dangerous trap. A portion of the bridge gave way last Friday just as a heavily loaded wagon had passed over it. Fortunately, there were no injuries. The structure has been repaired, since that time, but the bridge is still unsafe. The town authorities have posted a notice to the effect that the bridge has been condemned and that parties crossing it do so at their own risk.


The matter of building a new bridge at that site, or opening up another road, preventing the necessity of the old structure, has been too long delayed.  It should now receive immediate attention.


The Neillsville streets have been full of the men who have returned from their fruitless labor of logging in the woods this winter.  They have come to settle with their more unfortunate employers.  It has been hard work making ends meet and in some instances, the men have been asked to accept a reduction in pay.  In most such instances, the men have been found ready to divide the loses with their employer, knowing that he had done his best in trying to pay them.


The expense of Senator W. T. Price for this year’s logging operations exceeds $40,000 up to this time.  He made calculations on banking 25,000,000 feet of logs and will fall short about 18,000,000 feet.  He has 15,000,000 feet in skids to be laid over for another year, if not destroyed by fire.


Albert Brown, one of the best known and most popular loggers on the Black River, went into voluntary bankruptcy today.  His failure is the direct result of the capricious winter just passed.  Brown had taken some very heavy contracts and went into the woods early with eight camps, employing over 200 men, who have been practically idle all winter.  His liabilities are about $60,000 and his assets figured down to selling value, are about $30,000.  Brown has the sympathy of every one and his misfortune can never deprive him of the general esteem in which he has been held.  He will turn out the last dollar to his creditors, but he will still have a capital left in honor and energy that will in good time make a rich man of him again.


(For many years after the winter of 1877-1878 was referred to as the “Al Brown Winter” the winter that lacked snow for sledding logs to market.)


W. W. LaFlesh, who left here last spring for the Black Hills has now struck a bonanza, after nearly a year of patient and fruitless hardship and toil.  A short time since, he has struck a vein of gold, which yields $1,000 to the ton.


LaFlesh has realized enough from the gold already mined, that it warrants his sending for his family and making arrangements for going into business on a large scale.  Some specimens of quartz sent to his brother prove that his estimate of its richness is not exaggerated.


March 1943


A rumor went around Wisconsin, on Friday night and Saturday morning, to the effect that the government was clamping an air-tight “freeze” on butter sales at midnight Friday.


A good many of the people who got in on the “ground floor” in the early hours of Friday evening, were to beat the supposed freeze to the punch.


At the Milk Products Cooperative, where Hubert H. Quicker was burning the midnight electricity over the books, there came an almost steady stream of customers.  For a time Quicker sold 10-pound, 20-pound and 50-pound lots.  When he learned that rumor was creating the butter run, he told the purchasers that he had not been officially notified of a butter “freeze,” so, he could nothing but sell the butter.


The following morning, there was a short flurry of butter buying in the local groceries; but it soon slowed down when further confirmation of the rumored freeze was lacking.


A local grocer told of one instance in which 100 pounds of butter is being kept in an electric refrigerator in a local home.


Quicker said, that most of those who bought large quantities of butter were in a position to handle it without spoilage.  This, however, was not considered true in every instance.


Wisconsin block leaders are busy this week making calls to promote the campaign for fur vests for seamen of the merchant marine. They are asking local persons to contribute discarded fur articles, which will be made up without cost by fur workers in various cities throughout the country.


For the local collection, a box will be placed today in the Benson hardware store. The fur articles placed therein should be accompanied by the name and address of the donors. These donors will receive certificates of cooperation from the War Emergency Board of the fur industry.  The furs must be well wrapped in paper; newspaper will be satisfactory.


This announcement is made at the request of Mrs. Donald H. Crothers, on behalf of the Wisconsin Council of Defense.


A label from a can of evaporated milk, originating in Neillsville, has been returned to Neillsville from North Africa.  The can milk was opened there by American soldiers, who wrote their names upon the back of the label and sent the label to Mr. Park in Philadelphia.  Park, president of the American Stores Dairy Company, sent the label to C. H. Bingham, of the American Stores Dairy Company, who in turn forwarded it to R. E. Schmedel, in Neillsville.  All of these gentlemen, connected with the American Stores, were happy to have evidence that the canned milk, which they have been putting up in Neillsville for the government, has reached the fighting front.


LeNore Marion Bartz has joined the WACs and will help to win the war.  She is the fifth and last of the daughters of Mrs. Bertha Bartz of the Granton community to quit the teaching profession.  She signed up within three weeks of her sister, Evelyn, who was a teacher at the Oriole Hill School and who is now in training in Georgia.


LeNore is a primary teacher in Antigo; whither she went after four years as a primary teacher in the Greenwood School. She will continue her teaching for a short time, until a successor qualifies.  She quits a job paying $140 a month for one paying $50.  However, she did not want to stay behind while Evelyn is doing her bit in the armed services, as also is her uncles, the Rev. Ernest Albrecht, son of the Henry Albrecht’s of Neillsville.  Rev. Albrecht, a Lutheran minister, has been with the U. S. Army, in Africa for six months.


Harry Roehrborn has been designated as local recruiting officer for the Navy, cooperating with the recruiting station at Chippewa Falls.  Chief Recruiting Officer E. E. Berry of the Chippewa station directs attention particularly to the opportunity now open to 17-year-olds and to women.  The boys of 17 may enlist, but there is no assurance as to how long enlistment will be possible.  For women of 20 to 35, the opportunity is open with the WAVE and SPAR service units.  Those having two years or more of high school or business school, plus a satisfactory amount of business experience, may qualify. 


Weapons for the U. S. Navy are being turned in for the next two weeks at both banks in Neillsville.  This drive, made upon the urgent request of the Navy, is to provide weapons for training and guard duty, in order that the service weapons may all go to combat locations.


Weapons of all sorts are needed.  Those supplying them will be given receipts. These are donations, with the possibility that, so far as practicable, the items will be returned at the end of the World War II.


The 24th anniversary of the American Legion was celebrated in Neillsville in a joint session held Tuesday evening at the WRC hall.  Members of the Legion and Legion Auxiliary attended the celebration.  John Peterson and Harry Roehrborn spoke, and an address was given by Victor W. Nehs, taking the place of the district commander, who was unable to attend.  Nehs told about his part in organizing the Legion in Wisconsin.  He was delegated to draft a constitution of which was adopted without change by the executive committee. This constitution has continued to be the basic law of the Legion in Wisconsin.


There were several patriotic numbers played by members of the Neillsville High School band, under the direction of Richard Becker.  Little Joan Cummings sang “Sweet and Low.”


Eaton Center will have a one-room school next year, instead of a two-room state graded school. This was decided at a special meeting of the voters of the district, held last Monday evening.  The decision to change was based upon the fact that there are now only 19 pupils.


Frank Quesnell is selling his lunch car, the “All A’Board,” in Neillsville and proposes to return to railroading.  He will go to Milwaukee on or about April 1st where he will work as a brakeman on the Milwaukee road.  He worked on the road when he was young, before he struck into the restaurant business.  He is now attracted by the present demand for railroad workers.


Quesnell will retain his home in Neillsville.  His family will remain here, at least until the early summer.  His daughter Anna Mae will graduate with the class of 1943.  Mary Imelda is in the fourth grade and Billy is in the first grade.


Quesnell’s break with Neillsville, though made by choice, carries with it many regrets, because of the pleasant associations of 13 years.  His reputation for fairness and goodwill led to his selection for the city council, as a member of which he has made a constructive contribution to the community.


The lunch car and café business, have been purchased by Mrs. Julia Reber who will take possession of the business Apr.1st.


A meeting of the Knothole club was held at its regular meeting place. The meeting was called in honor of Capt. Oscar Gluck, organizer of the club and also whose birthday was celebrated.  Members present included: John “Cigar” Gloff, the newly elected sec.-treas., Bill Dux; Cooney Dux, the rector, always to be found wherever there is a dollar; Ray Paulson, adv. mgr.; Pete Warlum, auditor; Garald Hart, newly appointed to the entertainment committee; Alton Imig, the speaker; Paul Skroch, the club doctor; and waitresses, Genevieve Linster, Ruth Skroch, Mrs. Paul Skroch and Mrs. Matt Scherer.  The meeting adjourned for the duration of the war.  After the meeting, lunch was prepared and served by Brother Hart.  The lunch consisted of Cannibal sandwiches made of raw hamburger, smoked liver sausage, cheese and fish.  In closing, everyone present sang, “God Bless America.”  The club’s motto is “One for all and all for one.”  The club has four service stars.


The Kuester meat business, long a source of meat supply, wholesale and retail, is being closed, at least for the present.  Ferd Kuester will give his attention to his farm.  His son-in-law, Harold O’Brien will find an occupation in Chicago or Milwaukee.  O’Brien had arranged with Kuester to take over the active operation of the meat business for a period of two years.  But conditions in the meat business have become so adverse, that it has gotten both Kuester and O’Brien completely down.


The closing of the Kuester-O’Brien meat business will have a substantial bearing upon the meat supply of the Neillsville community, as this was a source of supply to local stores upon a wholesale basis, as well as a retail business.  The volume of local animals slaughtered was to have been around 150 head in 1942.


But the business is operating under ceilings fixed a year ago, with round steak retailing at 33 cents a pound, with sirloin and T-bone steak at 34 cents and beef roast at 27 cents a pound. These prices were fixed when beef quarters were available from meat packers at 15 and ½ cents, but the price of quarters is now 22 and 23 cents a pound. The result is to squeeze Kuester and O’Brien out of the meat business.  (Kuester’s business was located on N. Grand Ave., north side of the Black River. D. Z.)



Sparky’s Tavern was located in the Wasserburger building, corner of West and Seventh Streets, in the early 1940s.  Sparky Helwig was noted for the delicious hamburgers that the prepared and served at the tavern. Al Shock’s Barber Shop was next door to the tavern, in the same building.  (Photo courtesy of the Marden family collection)




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